What Is IRS Form 8862?

A couple sits at a table, discussing whether they need to file Form 8862 with a tax preparer

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Form 8862 allows taxpayers to reclaim tax credits that were disallowed on their previous tax returns due to circumstances with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that have now been resolved.

Key Takeaways

  • Form 8862 is required when the IRS has previously disallowed one or more specific tax credits. Filing this form allows you to reclaim credits for which you are now eligible. 
  • You can download Form 8862 from the IRS website and file it electronically or by mail.
  • You won't be able to file this form or claim the credits for up to 10 years if your previous attempt to claim one of these credits was denied due to fraud or reckless disregard for the rules.

How Form 8862 Works

IRS Form 8862 ("Information to Claim Certain Credits After Disallowance") must be included with your tax return if you have previously been denied the earned income tax credit (EITC), child tax credit, additional child tax credit, credit for other dependents, or American opportunity tax credit. Filing this form will allow you to once again claim any of these credits.

Form 8862 (Revised Dec. 2021)

The IRS says most errors in claiming the EITC are related to claiming children who don't meet the qualifying rules. These rules include:

  • Having a valid Social Security number
  • Being under age 19, under age 24 if they were a full-time student for at least five months of the year, or permanently and totally disabled
  • Being related to you, legally adopted, or placed in your foster care by a government agency, licensed organization, or court order
  • Living in the same home as you in the United States for more than half the tax year
  • Not filing a joint return with their spouse

Example of Form 8862

Let's say your 17-year-old child moved out of your home in May 2020. You claimed the EITC on that year's tax return, but the IRS disallowed it because your child no longer met the qualifying rules. If your child, now 18, moved back home in May 2022, you would file Form 8862 with your 2022 tax return to show that you're once again eligible to claim the credit.

Who Uses Form 8862?

Anyone who has previously been denied any of the tax credits listed above for anything other than a math or clerical error, and who now meets all the requirements to claim the credit, must file Form 8862. The IRS specifies that you'll need to file this form if:

  • Your EITC claim was reduced or disallowed for a year after 1996.
  • Your claim for the child tax credit, additional child tax credit, credit for other dependents, or American opportunity tax credit was reduced or disallowed for a year after 2015.


You can't claim these credits again for at least two years if the IRS denied your claim for "reckless or intentional disregard of the rules." You can't claim the credits for 10 years if your claim was denied due to fraud.

You don't have to file Form 8862 if:

  • You have already filed it after being denied one or more of these credits in an earlier year, and your claims have not been disallowed or reduced since then.
  • You're claiming the EITC without a qualifying child, and the only reason your EITC claim was previously denied was because a listed child was determined not to be a qualifying child.

Where To Get Form 8862

The easiest way to get Form 8862 is to download it from the IRS website. A professional tax preparer or tax preparation company will furnish this document for you if you use one. The tax software should automatically complete this form based on the data you enter if you're preparing your own return online.

How To Fill Out and Read Form 8862

Form 8862 has five parts:

  • Part 1: All filers
  • Part 2: Earned income tax credit
  • Part 3: Child tax credit/Additional child tax credit/Credit for other dependents
  • Part 4: American opportunity tax credit
  • Part 5: Qualifying child of more than one person

All filers should fill out Part 1. You should only fill out the other sections that are dedicated to the particular credit or credits that you're reclaiming. Very few taxpayers will have to reclaim all these credits, so make sure not to complete a section for a credit that you're not entitled to.

The final section applies to children who can be claimed on more than one person's tax return, such as parents who are divorced or separated. You'll need to refer to the IRS tiebreaker rules to determine who should claim the children in this case.


You can download the form's instructions from the IRS if you're having difficulty understanding Form 8862.

Can Form 8862 Be Filed Online?

Yes, you can include this form with the rest of your tax return when you e-file. Virtually all online tax preparation programs provide this form, although they may not include it in their free versions.

Where To Mail Form 8862

If you received a notice from the IRS saying that you must file this form, the letter will also include an address where you can send it.

How To File Form 8862

You can include this form if you're filing your tax return electronically, or you can mail it to the address specified in the letter if you received a separate notice requiring that you complete the form. Either way, you don't have to sign Form 8862.

Benefits of Form 8862

Filing Form 8862 allows taxpayers to start over with the IRS in a sense. It shows that the taxpayer has rectified the circumstances that caused the IRS to disallow these credits, and that they're now eligible to claim them again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I have to file Form 8862 every year?

You only have to file Form 8862 once unless your claim for one of these credits is denied a second time. Then you must file the form once again to rectify the situation.

What happens when the IRS disallows a claim for one of these credits?

Unlike deductions, tax credits subtract directly from what you owe the IRS when you complete your return. The disallowed credit will be added back to your balance if the IRS disallows your claim. This can reduce your anticipated refund, eliminate it entirely, or add to the tax you owe.

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  1. IRS. "Qualifying Child Rules."

  2. IRS. "Common Errors for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)."

  3. IRS. "Instructions for Form 8862."

  4. IRS. "What to Do if We Deny Your Claim for a Credit."

  5. Taxpayer Advocate Office. "Notice of Claim Disallowance."

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